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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 2nd in latest ESPN MVP straw poll

The 2024 All-Star break is officially here, which means the unofficial halfway point of the season has crossed. MVP candidates have started to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is part of the top tier of candidates, which was reflective of ESPN’s Tim Bontemps’ recent straw poll. 100 league insiders periodically vote on awards throughout the season to see what a forecasted winner looks like.

In the latest MVP straw poll released on Feb. 13, Gilgeous-Alexander (709 total points) is ranked second in MVP voting — trailing only Nikola Jokic (889 points). This is a two-spot jump for the 25-year-old compared to the previously released straw poll.

Joel Embiid was disqualified from the list as he is no longer eligible for MVP after he failed to play in 65 games this season.

Gilgeous-Alexander has been part of the MVP conversation for the entire season and has only made his case stronger as the season has progressed.

The Oklahoma City Thunder (37-17) are in second place in the Western Conference standings. Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged 31.1 points on 54.6% shooting, 6.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire